In Beech Grove, a small town in Indiana, the local Walmart has become something of a battleground: the locals become violent there so often that the police has to be called to the scene an average of three times a day. In response to the Walmart-centric criminal epidemic, the mayor of Beech Grove has issued a demand to Walmart, calling on the retail giant to hire its own security force so that the police can go back to helping with other issues around town.
This particular Walmart location gained notoriety recently when a video of two women fighting inside went viral. While the video itself did not spur Grove Beach Mayor Dennis Buckley’s decision to chastise Walmart for its lack of security teams, the economic situation surrounding the town’s Walmart certainly did.
“Walmart is draining our resources, it’s bleeding us. They only pay property taxes into the local taxing district, not back to us in the town,” Buckley said in an interview with FoxBusiness.com. “So Walmart is using our cops we pay for, for their security. Walmart has just one off-duty cop in the store, but he’s not there 24/7, he often leaves at noon. They also use our fire department services, too.” As part of an effort to stimulate the local economy, the Walmart is exempt from property taxes for the first 25 years of its existence.
Residents of Grove Beach are suffering from the lack of police attention, Buckley argued. “We’ve been talking to Walmart for some time now about this problem of lack of security at its store. It’s difficult for us, we only have four to six cops on duty at any given time, but sometimes they all have to go deal with Walmart, putting our residents at risk. It’s frustrating.”
Walmart released a statement in response to Buckley’s call to action. “We certainly don’t want people in our stores for the wrong reasons any more than other businesses do and we have safety and security measures in place to handle accordingly,” the statement reads. “Walmart has worked closely with local law enforcement officials and directly responded to their requests by both hiring an off-duty police officer to be in the store and implementing a program designed to reduce store calls for police assistance.”
If you’ve never seen the aforementioned fight video, here it is: